My 5-minute 'Ignite' talk at SciFoo is tonight, and I still need to work out the point I'll make with my last slide. (It's too late change the slide - our Powerpoint files had to be submitted two days ago.)
I'll have just said that big mistakes were made by everyone involved (authors, reviewers, editors, publicists, journalists). Then I want to say something about how scientists in particular need to be able to admit their errors - we're working not only at the frontiers of knowledge but at the frontiers of our abilities. Failure to admit we've been wrong is a betrayal of the scientific process.
Can I say that in 15 seconds, without rushing my words? Maybe, but it would be better to cut a few words, or at least a few syllables.
How about this?
Previous slide: Everyone involved made big mistakes (authors, reviewers, editors, publicists, journalists). But the big betrayal wasn't the errors but the failure to admit them.
Last slide: Scientists work not only at the frontiers of knowledge but at the frontiers of our abilities, and learning to be wrong should be part of our training.
19 hours ago in Variety of Life